For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7 – Scripture Of The Day (January 7, 2014)
About eleven years ago I had a Bible study with a potential convert at the International House Of Pancakes. This young Air Force officer came from a denominational background and had initially thought that one church was as good as another, but was intrigued by the simple and powerful message of the Bible (Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 1:10-13). We were in a booth talking over pancakes, eggs, and bacon about how God’s Word teaches that there is only one church and one faith when suddenly I heard a loud sniff from the booth across the aisle, followed by a harsh clearing of the throat. I looked over and saw an older woman sitting there fixing me with a very disapproving stare.
“I can’t believe you are telling this man that he is mistaken about what he believes in!” she said, clearly very angry with me. To make a long story short, she rudely rebuffed the invitation I gave to join our Bible study, and then slapped the card out of my hand when I invited her to come to church. My friend looked like he wanted to drop down into the floor, and to be honest I had that familiar tightening in my diaphragm and flushed face that comes from fear.
And yet…what did we really have to be afraid of? Eleven years have passed, and I haven’t seen that woman since that day. Before that day, God had already been blessing me “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3), he continued to do so even while that woman was chastising me, and he has continued blessing me ever since. As a Christian, I still had my salvation and forgiveness of sins, I still could approach my Maker and Redeemer in prayer. I still possessed the wisdom and knowledge of God to guide me through the hard times of life which I received through continual meditation and obedience of the Spirit-inspired Word. I still had my inheritance in heaven. Plus, I still had the physical blessings of life which God graciously gave to me. Regardless of that woman’s disapproval, I still had a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table, a bed to sleep in, and many luxuries also. Not long after that, God would bless me with a wonderful wife, and then with a sweet daughter…along with many, many more blessings.
Christians, God has not given us a spirit of fear, timidity, and cowardice. We have nothing to be afraid of. Even if that woman had killed me because of the faith I was sharing, she would in actuality be doing me a favor because my name is written in that Book, and eternity with God is waiting (Phil. 1:23). So there is no reason to be afraid to do what God told us to do and share our faith with the lost so that their souls might be saved. The gospel is God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16), and if we have the love and self-control he wants us to have then we will take advantage of every opportunity to exercise that spirit of power and love and self-control he gave to us by sharing that saving message with all (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20).
Remember this, Christians: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:6)